Mazda has finally seen the electric-vehicle light.
And it only took the threat of the European Union's CO2 emissions penalties to bring it into focus.
CEO Akira Marumoto disclosed in a Q&A interview with
Automotive News Europe
that Mazda does indeed have an EV in the oven, and it should be ready by 2020.
'…The first Mazda battery-electric vehicle will hit the market next year,' explained Marumoto in response to a question about how the company plans to reduce its fleet's CO2 output.
Not much else is known about the EV, other than it will be an entirely new vehicle with a Mazda-built electric powertrain.
Mazda's also planning changes to its Skyactiv-X engine, lowering CO2 output to 100 g/km, but that alone will not save it from the heavy hand of the European powers that enforce the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) dictates.
One major reason is that in Europe, Mazda's best-selling vehicle is the CX-5, which has CO2 emissions in the 128 to 150 g/km range, well above the target of 114.9 g/km set by the WLTP.
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To lend support to the upcoming EV, Mazda
has more goods in the electric oven, too.
Marumoto says the brand will 'introduce plug-in hybrid models from 2021 or 2022,' and that these, too, will have new powertrains.
Brands that don't make the CO2 target either pay fines or are forced to otherwise discontinue more-polluting models until the fleet average is brought in line; when asked which strategy Mazda'd take, the CEO said they'd have to wait and see.
We will have to balance the impact of possible CO2 penalties with our sales targets,' he said.
'But we also have to consider the sustainability of our dealer network.'